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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 11/11/2022

Transportation in Costa Rica

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Understanding how public transportation works in a country you’ve never been to before can be a real hassle, but don’t worry!  We've already discussed some important things to know when moving about Costa Rica, but here are some more useful tips on how to navigate Costa Rica's public transportation.


Buses are the main method of transportation that Costa Ricans use on a daily basis.

One of most important things you need to know about buses in Costa Rica is that they’re not always on time.  This is a great example of the “tico time” but, don’t worry.  They’re usually just a few minutes late, and in the Central Valley, buses normally run every 15-30 minutes. Buses are also very cheap compared to taking a taxi or an Uber. The prices range from 190 colones to 600 colones if you’re going from one city to another in the Central Valley. If you want to catch a bus that goes to the provinces that are further away such as Guanacaste, Limon and Puntarenas, the bus fee will definitely be more expensive. For instance, the fee for a one-way bus ride to Jaco, a Pacific coastal city, is around 2,500 colones.

Buses from Heredia to San Jose:  These are the main buses people use to get to San Jose from Heredia.  You can locate the stations indicated on the maps with the purple circle.

Buses from San Jose to Heredia:  These are the main buses people use to get from San Jose to Heredia.

  • Terminal de Buses Rapidos Heredianas
  • Parada de Busetas Heredianas (buses amarillos y rojos)
  • Parada de buses Heredia LA 400

Buses from San Jose to Alajuela: These is the main terminal for buses that go from San Jose to Alajuela.

  • Parada Alajuela.  These buses also stop at the airport.

Buses from San Jose to Cartago: These is the main terminal for buses that go from San Jose to Cartago.

The following buses take you outside of the Central Valley.  We recommend taking an Uber or taxi to get to these terminals due to their location in San Jose. Take into consideration that only the tickets to Jaco are available online.

  • Terminal 7-10.  Destinations: Jaco, San Carlos, Monteverde, El Salvador, Guanacaste, Nicaragua, Cobano and Jicaral.
  • Terminal Autotransportes Mepe S.A.  Destinations: Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Manzanillo, Sixaola, Valle la Estrella and Bribri
  • Terminal Tracopa.  Destinations: David(Panama), Golfito, Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Uvita, San vito and Zona Sur.

A helpful app you can download on your phone is Moovit, and also check out the Facebook group “Costa Rica By Bus”. 


The train has been gaining popularity amongst the people who work in San Jose or Heredia. It’s a quick way to get from one province to the other. For example, it only takes about 45 minutes from the station in San Jose to the one in Heredia. It’s also very affordable; from San Jose to Heredia, it’s only 420 colones. The train travels from Alajuela to Heredia to San Jose and finally to Cartago.

Estacion del Atlantico (Main Station in San Jose)

Estacion Heredia (Main Station in Heredia)

Estacion Cartago (Main Station in Cartago)


Uber has become one of the most popular methods of transportation in Costa Rica. It’s affordable and the drivers are very respectful and friendly. Just download the app on your phone and you’re ready to go. You’ll find Ubers nearly everywhere, especially in the Central Valley.

Navigating through the city shouldn't be as intimidating now!  If you are ready to start your career of teaching English in Costa Rica, get in touch with us today!  

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